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The As-Built Critical Path—Quest or Discovery?

The As-Built Critical Path—Quest or Discovery? by John C. Livengood and Jeffery L. Ottesen


Good schedulers work hard to make their products accurately represent the anticipated sequence of work so managers can plan their resources, adjust for unanticipated events, and owners can anticipate project delivery. Among those sequences that interest schedulers the most is the critical path. Forensic schedulers work hard to explain why the projected sequence of work did NOT occur as planned. Those forensic schedulers are vitally interested in what judges sometimes call the “As-Built Critical Path” to help in that explanation, yet considerable debate exists concerning the very concept and existence of an “As-Built Critical Path.” As this is a debate on the existence and character of the “As-Built Critical Path,” we have formatted the discussion as a series of questions or issues and then answered each from our respective positions. Jeff Ottesen argues that looking for the as-built critical path is like legendary quests that cannot succeed since the as-built critical path is illusionary. John Livengood knows that like adventures of discovery, the as-built critical path is difficult to find but rewarding when found. We will focus our debate on both the actual existence the “as-built critical path” and the semantics of such a concept.

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